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Commentary Last Updated: Feb 24th, 2009 - 02:51:33

Bailouts and stimuli: A repackaging of America�s capitalism
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Feb 24, 2009, 00:25

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So Bill Clinton wants President Obama to talk optimistically about the US economy! Little surprise coming from a promoter and cheerleader of a frivolous and disastrous system of economic globalization that has helped bring the nation he led for eight years to its economic knees.

For all the millions of penny ante jobs he helped create, still touted by his party as a �great feat,� he also presided over the exodus of millions of high-paying, manufacturing blue collar jobs . . . the jobs that made the United States the industrial power it once was, and its people a proud nation of producers, and not just a swarm of borrowing, brainless consumers.

How well the late Molly Ivins, journalist-extraordinaire, had this articulate Bill Clinton character pegged when she said, �No one but a fool or a Republican ever took him for a liberal.� Now the former president�s old political entourage has become the advisory group for Obama, the cadre with greased gears for �change,� which for an old progressive like me represents one of the greatest deceptive jokes ever perpetrated on the American electorate.

It has been a short honeymoon of expectations, a quickly eclipsing hope; and barely a month after his inauguration as hope-in-chief for us all -- Americans at least, and many would include other citizens of the world -- I am resigned to the fact that after eight years of duking it out with pure idiocy and evil, the genocidal Bush, there are now four years of �lesser evil� waiting for progressives of my kind under the leadership of Barack Obama.

Just as my disappointment grew at the prospect of an unchanging foreign policy toward the Middle East, and a current absurd position escalating a no-win war in Afghanistan -- or his unwillingness to help prosecute criminals in the past administration, starting with George W. Bush -- this president�s economic prescription for the ongoing crisis is nothing short of an unfair repackaging of an infected, tired capitalism for a brainwashed people that to date have not been told the truth: that they have been living beyond their productive means for way too long.

One would expect that economic misdeeds discovered during the past year would be enough to put an end to a farcical democracy that chants all the virtues of capitalism in this global cathedral where tribute is paid to Almighty Greed.

Thieves, Ponzi-artists, MLM entrepreneurs, Wall Street currency counterfeiters masked as conservative bankers, and business crooks of all sorts, have proven once again that at the end of the day it is the money changers who rule our lives; and that these priests and deacons of Capitalism�s temple are worse, far more conscienceless and inhumane, than those merchants of two millennia ago that Jesus Christ would throw out of Solomon�s Second Temple.

What we are seeing is not the excesses or criminality of a few in Wall Street, but the corruption of an entire economic system left to police itself; an economic system with an accelerated sense of Darwinian survival. Not just the 1 percent power elite, but that other 9 percent of �enterprising� squires who carried their bid and benefited in the ugly process. I get to see the squires� outward sign of success as I jog in the morning past their mansions overlooking the Columbia River . . . a good many of these opulent homes built from illicit commissions made on real estate . . . that had more of imaginary thievery than real worth. Little wonder that home ownership -- even if negative as it�s the case today -- is the crumbling pillar that capitalism has always used in the United States.

And now our ruling politicians (whether elected, selected or crammed down our throats), have been entrusted with fixing the economic crisis that their inadequacy helped create; an economic crisis that has replaced all prior urgency in dealing with war and genocide. What a fiasco this is turning out to be!

So here we are with a brand new orchestra leader, Barack Obama, moving a baton to the music written not by a composer of fresh sounds, but the plagiarist of same musical excerpts picked by Corporate America as their new conductor. Here we were last November thinking that we were hiring an enthralling conductor with a new score . . . and all we have for our aspiration is the replay of the same old notes with a new tempo.

In truth, all our politicians are doing is propping up an abhorrent capitalist system that has failed in the most miserable way. You do not properly stimulate an economy through spending alone and definitely not by political payoffs; not by creating one more artificial level from which to fall with ever more dire consequences. American taxpayers are being asked to honor this capitalism while in the process they are being sodomized by politicians and elite moneychangers, the same knights and squires of old. Once again, the sheep will be fleeced and for the nth time the coffers of the wealthy will be replenished . . . and our enslaved progeny will have to pay the price.

� 2009 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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